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Friday May 4, 2012

Hawker fare from Taiwan

TAIWAN Kochabi in Penang Times Square not only impresses with its lip-smacking authentic Taiwanese hawker (street food) fare but also with its wide range of innovative and refreshing beverages.

Concoctions such as fruit tea, Shalimar orange tea, Taiwanese egg nog, green tea lid and the fruit-infused calpis which is somewhat similar to yoghurt drinks should help you quench your thirst.

Made from fresh milk and egg yolk, the high protein and nutritious egg nog is simply appealing. The drink is free of any eggy taste but tantalises with either orange or passion fruit flavour.

A new trend of drink is the green tea lid that combines tea with a touch of baking concept in the use of whipped cream as toppings. To get a perfect combination, one should drink it straight from the glass without stirring to savour the two distinct taste of the saltish cream and the sweetish green tea.

Other equally pleasing drinks include milk tea, longan red date tea, organic soya bean, cold brewed tea, Taiwan classic milk tea, Kochabi special brew, soury plum, honey lemon and pure fruit juices.

For the milk tea, choose from flavours like original, peanut, Earl Grey, longan, red bean, yuan yang (coffee plus tea) or grass jelly while the juices are an interesting mixture of guava and watermelon, papaya and pineapple, just to name a few.

Coffee is also available including the hand-brewed syphon coffee using either Blue Mountain, Brazil or Mande Ling beans.

Here at Kochabi, diners can also tickle their fancy for Taiwanese hawker dishes ranging from set meals to rice, noodle, dumplings and snacks as well as mini steamboats and vegetarian dishes.

Among the value-for-money and convenient set meals served with rice are minced pork, deepfried spare ribs, salty squid, Taiwan curry spare ribs, pan fried salmon and fried cod fish.

For something light, you can’t go wrong with winning interpretations like homemade Taiwan sausage, salmon roll, drunken chicken, oyster roll, 3 cups chicken, BBQ pork slices, kimchi pork slices in hot plate, beef soup, braised beef brisket, stewed tofu and the ever popular beef noodle.

The salmon roll, ham and Japanese cucumber wrapped with seaweed is a delight while the drunken chicken should be taken cold to avoid the slight bitter taste of the cooking liquor.

The mini pork steamboat is another must try with its steaming pot of delicious clear soup brimming with fresh greens, fish balls and mushrooms. Add in the pork slices for a hearty meal.

The extensive menu also consist of pork hind trotters noodle (dry), fish ball glass noodle, Taiwan tan tsai noodle (dry), spare ribs noodle, seafood congee, fish ball soup, kimchi pot soup and vegetarian noodle.

Kochabi actually needs no further introduction having been pleasing discerning taste buds since 2001 at its main outlet along Burmah Road while the Times Square branch has been operating for a year now.

The former is open from noon to 10pm daily except Wednesdays while the latter is open at the same time daily. For reservations and enquiries, kindly contact 04-2275048 (Burmah Road) or 04-2285048 (Times Square).

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